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Kursk politician is charged with libel after criticizing Putin on YouTube

On March 4, Olga Li, a deputy in the Kursk oblast parliament, released a video appeal to Vladimir Putin, harshly criticizing the president's domestic and foreign policies, saying he has led Russia to financial collapse. In her YouTube video, Li also referred to a “conspiracy at the highest echelons of power” against the Russian people.

Today, Kursk's District Attorney formally charged Li with libel, saying she wrote a newspaper article last fall where she accused a local judge of making several illegal rulings. (The judge reportedly complained to the police, in response.)

Li says she was informed of the charges yesterday at a session of Kursk's parliament, where deputies from the country's leading parties expressed their dissatisfaction that she “insults Putin” and refuses to “support the union of Crimea and Russia.”

Li says she hasn't yet received any official notice of the charges against her, but she expects to be accused of defamation and extremism. 

According to a statement on the District Attorney's website, investigators are sending Li's case for linguistic analysis to determine the nature of her statements.